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John Black | Back in Time

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Brian Setzer Buddy Holly Ricky Nelson

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United States - Washington

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Rock: Americana Pop: 60's Pop Moods: Mood: Upbeat
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Back in Time

by John Black

The best of an Americana pop sound in the tradition and style of Ricky Nelson, Buddy Holly and Johnny Cash.
Genre: Rock: Americana
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. Down the Devil's Road
John Black
3:45 $0.99
clip
2. A Girl Named Paula
John R. Black
3:58 $0.99
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3. Sunday of My Mind
John R. Black
3:48 $0.99
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4. Forever Please Love Me
John R. Black
3:42 $0.99
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5. Mary Jo
John R. Black
3:21 $0.99
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6. I Want to Write a Song Tonight
John R. Black
5:38 $0.99
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7. People Talk
John R. Black
4:07 $0.99
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8. Baby Baby Baby
John R. Black
2:23 $0.99
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9. Night Flight
John R. Black
3:52 $0.99
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10. Love's Lonely Road
John R. Black
4:05 $0.99
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11. Rio Town
John R. Black
2:31 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
I grew up on a homestead near Valley, Washington, and by the eighth grade I had taken tap dancing, trumpet, guitar and piano lessons. I owe any songwriting talent to my Dad, who was a great musician. He played trombone, violin and piano, and he started me early in music. He and my mother made sure that my brother and sisters and I took music lessons, my brother James guitar and Julie and Judy piano. Both were fantastic on the keyboards. We were all forever grateful for that gift. In 1926, Dad joined the U.S. Marines and served in the American Legation, Peking, China as a "China Marine." I graduated from Gonzaga Preparatory School in Spokane, Washington, in 1958 and Gonzaga University (GU) in 1963. I wrote songs all through high school and college. “Mary Jo,” my first real rock n’ roll song, deserves special mention. It was the summer of 1959. I had just graduated from Gonzaga Prep. That summer I met Mary Jo Jepsen, who was visiting from California and staying with my aunt and uncle in Valley. We went to a church social on a Saturday night. I fell in love. I went back to Spokane and wrote Mary Jo, pulled together a drummer and bass player, booked a session at Sound Recording Company in Spokane and cut my first vinyl recording, “Mary Jo,” on August 27, 1959. It’s now updated on this album. The following weekend I took Mary Jo the vinyl record and played it at my Uncle’s. She was speechless.

I kept writing, and at GU I formed the John R. Trio: Jerry Harr, banjo, George Votava, guitar, and me on keyboards. I had many previous rejection slips from record companies as I attempted to peddle my music (Am-Par Record Corp. in N.Y., Liberty Records in L.A., RCA and Mercury Records to name a few), but we signed a contract with B-G-L Recording Company on March 14, 1962. The contract called for us to record 12 songs. We added John Malone on bass and a drummer and went into the studio in Spokane, recording five originals: “Sheila,” “Henry’s Body Is Buried,” “The Alligator Man,” “Down the Devil’s Road” and “Rio Town.” We performed around Spokane. The latter two and “Mary Jo” have been updated on this album. “Sheila” and “Rio Town” were released on B-G-L’s Gemco label as a 45 single that got considerable airplay in the Pacific Northwest and down the West Coast. While at Gonzaga I worked as a copyboy for the Spokesman Review newspaper, and Ed Costello, the entertainment editor, wrote a great piece in the April 8, 1962, issue, “Record Is Cut by Gonzagans.” He said, “The trio was born at GU, where the inspiration of Bing Crosby and the Chad Mitchell Trio apparently is a match for the more bookish Jesuits.” Following the record release, the Review published another story titled, “John R. Trio Gets Contract; Groups First Record Due Soon.” Writer Mike Flynn said, “Black said he was thankful to Mike Pugh for helping him develop his style and giving him a few pointers. Pugh, at that time with the Chad Mitchell Trio, was another Gonzagan who made his splash on the entertainment scene.” We performed “Henry’s Body Is Buried” live on a KHQ TV Telethon hosted by Raymond Burr, the movie star, who introduced us.
 
While at GU I also wrote “A Girl Named Paula.” It was written for Paula Harootunian, who was attending GU a year ahead of me and was to be my future wife. We married in 1964. I sang this song at the GU Saint Patrick’s Day talent show, March 14, 1962. We were listed as John R. and the Five Gentlemen. It brought down the house and we won the talent contest. Later, while on my second military assignment in Europe, my kids and I performed at a talent show in Heidelberg, Germany.

 My first full album was Vietnam Farewell, released in 1991 and sent to Veteran Centers throughout North America. My second was Maria and Me, with my daughter Maria and my wife Joanne and I writing and singing. My third album in 1994, Vietnam Farewell II: I Don't Know Where the Time Has Gone, was sent again to all 220 Vet Centers in North America, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam and to all members of Congress. My fourth album, Meet Me In Vietnam, is the musical biography of my involvement in the Vietnam War (www.meetmeinvietnam.net). The creation and production of Meet Me In Vietnam was a soul-searching journey.

But this current album is not about war. It is a collection of eleven of the best of some sixty tunes that I have written since 1958, three written in 2016. I hope you enjoy it.

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